Monday, July 30, 2012

July 30, 2012 … He said, “The Spirit is upon Me.”

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 212 

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Isaiah, Chapter 59-63 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage: Isaiah 59: 1-2; 20-21 : [NIV] … 1 Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. … 20 "The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins," declares the Lord. 21 "As for me, this is my covenant with them," says the Lord. "My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever," says the Lord.
Highlight Passage: Isaiah 60: 1-2: 15 : [NIV] … [To God’s remnant of chosen believers] 1 "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. 2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. … 15 "Although you have been forsaken and hated, with no one traveling through, I will make you the everlasting pride and the joy of all generations. …”
Highlight Passage: Isaiah 61: 1-2 : [NIV] … 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me [reference to Messiah], because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, … 
6 And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. 7 Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.  
Highlight Passage: Isaiah 62: 1-3 : [NIV] … 1 For Zion's sake I [Isaiah in prayer for God’s chosen] will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. 2 The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.   3 You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord's hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. … 11 The Lord has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: "Say to Daughter Zion, 'See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.'" 12 They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted.
Highlight Passage: Isaiah 63: 1-4 : [NIV] … 1 Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with His garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? "It is I, [i.e., The Messiah] proclaiming victory, mighty to save." 2 Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress? 3 "I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. 4 It was for me the day of vengeance; the year for me to redeem had come. 

My Journal for Today: It’s Jesus! He’s the One, the Lamb of God. He’s the One about Whom Isaiah was called to prophesy. And if you read the passages God’s Spirit (I believe) led me to highlight above, I’m sure you’ll be as uplifted with hope as I was about our Savior.

But … of all the passages of promise above, the one I have emboldened and underlined is the prophetic declaration of The Messiah on which I want to focus today. And perhaps you remember from Jesus’ ministry on earth that dramatic scene, documented in Luke 4: 18 and following, where Jesus, as an itinerate, traveling Rabbi, was asked to open the scrolls of the Torah in the Synagogue in Nazareth, His home town, and to read from God’s word. This was a tradition in those times for highly regarded visiting Rabbis to be given this honor on the Sabbath during a time of corporate worship or study into God’s Holy Scriptures. And it would have been the local Priest of the Synagogue who selected the reading for Jesus to read. And wow! The passage selected just happened to be the prophetic words of Isaiah from Chapter 61: 1-2.

And I can just imagine Jesus stepping up, taking the scroll, with this preselected passage from the Priest and all the men in the Synagogue sat down to hear God’s word being read by this well-regarded visiting teacher, who was building a reputation for doing miraculous things. All attention was riveted on Jesus, even from the women who would have been in a gallery separate from the men. All eyes and ears were on this teacher, coming home to be with the people who knew Jesus growing up as a boy in this town.

And I can just imagine that Jesus, the God-man, spoke clearly the words of Isaiah, who in this highlighted passage was speaking – through God – His own words, declaring the truth, some 700+ years before Christ’s coming, … His own prophetic declaration of Who He was. And then, after reading this text, as we read in Luke 4: 20-21 Jesus handed the scroll back to the attendant for the Priest, and He sat down, declaring, “This Scripture has come true today before your very eyes!” 

And I can just imagine, the sighs of disbelief when Jesus said that. There would have been many sitting there who knew exactly what Jesus was saying in that moment. What they were hearing was Jesus declaring to his hometown people that He, Jesus, was THE ONE Who had come to fulfill the words of the Prophet and God’s prophesy of His coming. “What?!!!” … would have been the sentiment. In fact, Luke 4: 22 reports that many in the synagogue that day were saying, “Isn’t this Joseph’s boy?” They just couldn’t believe that the carpenter’s boy, who had been doing all these miracles around Galilee, having come from Capernaum to Nazareth, had just declared Himself to be The Messiah right there in front of them.

 And when reports of this got back to the Jewish leaders and the Pharisees, as history tells us actually happened, Jesus, in His own declaration had set Himself on His journey to the cross. But He also, in the words of this passage, was declaring His mission statement as the Messiah; and so, when you read this passage, my dear fellow believer, recognize that Jesus was declaring, clearly from God’s word, Who He was and WHY He had come to BE THE LIVING GOSPEL.

And when we read Jesus’ mission statement we, as His disciples, we should seeing ourselves somewhere in that statement. We’re here, in this life, my beloved to be completed in Jesus’ image (see Phil. 1: 6 and 2: 5); and so, when Jesus says clearly WHO HE IS, then we should take this as our mission to become that person in our lives.

 And so, … when Jesus declares that God’s Spirit is on Him, we need to recognize that God’s Spirit is on all Christians,  >>> When Jesus says that He came to preach the “Good News” (i.e., the Gospel), we need to be witnessing God’s good news to others. >>>  When Jesus declares that He came to set the captives free, give sight to the blind, and to free the oppressed, somehow, in some way, we should be finding ourselves involved in these areas of mission.

If this is Whom Jesus declared Himself to be, this is whom we should aspire to become. This is where we should be focusing our life’s energies. And so, dear one, I put it to all of us who call ourselves disciples of Jesus, … are we doing what Jesus came to do on earth? Are we taking on Jesus’ mission here on earth? Because that’s what He commissioned us to do (see Matt. 28: 19-20); and He said in that commission that He would be with us, giving us the same Spirit-power which raised Him from the dead to carry out His mission and His commission.

 I’ll leave it to you to take charge from Jesus and decide whether we’re living up to Jesus’ mission statement.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, I have your mission before me. Help me to live it for Your glory. Amen

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